Diehard sports fans will go to great lengths to support their favorite teams. As is evident from the unwavering devotion, the gratuitous loyalty even during “rebuilding years” (sometimes decades), diehard sports fans will do anything to get access to their favorite teams, coaches and players. But, other than tailgating and watching games in the stands, their access tends to end there. Luckily for sports fans, Fandeavor wants to change that.
The Las Vegas-based startup is launching today to give sports fans behind-the-scenes access to the field, court, broadcast booth, locker room, and to athletes and coaches — the types of exclusive experiences typically reserved for corporate sponsors or those with deep pockets. To help change that, the company is also announcing that it has raised $525K in seed funding from Tony Hsieh’s VegasTechFund (a new seed-stage investment fund that focuses on incubating and investing in local tech startups) as well as Erik Moore, an early investor in Zappos.
Fandeavor is partnering with colleges and sports teams to package and sell exclusive experiences, like stadium tours and sideline passes, to rabid sports fans. Users can peruse the site for opportunities, and a la eBay, bid auction-style on particular events or “buy them now” at pre-set prices. For example, one recent package included tickets to a Real Madrid match at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, on-the-field seats, “VIP Field Level Tent access,” a VIP Parking Pass, a free UEFA Euro 2012 soccer ball and free hospitality food and beverages.
The startup currently has partnerships with college football, basketball or baseball teams at TCU, Arizona State, UNLV, USC, Wisconsin and a few more, and will be using its funding to not only go after more college sports teams but branch out into professional sports. Fandeavor co-founder Tom Ellingson tells us that colleges are looking for better ways to both engage fans and give back to the communities of die-hard fans that devote so much time and energy to supporting their teams.